The world comes to Daytona for Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2003) -- The top race car drivers from around the world will converge on Daytona International Speedway next week to begin the 2003 racing season with the most grueling road race in North America - the Rolex 24...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2003) -- The top race car drivers from around the world will converge on Daytona International Speedway next week to begin the 2003 racing season with the most grueling road race in North America - the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The historic 41st anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will draw drivers from across the globe, as the current entry list includes drivers representing 14 countries on five continents. Nearly a third of the drivers racing in next weekend's 24-hours race will travel to Daytona from abroad to kick off the racing season.

However America's best will also be on track during the classic twice-around-the-clock event, with racers from 27 states entered to run in the Rolex 24.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona draws not only the top sports car drivers to Daytona's 3.56-mile road course, but also top names from nearly every discipline in racing - Formula 1, Indy Car, Winston Cup, Busch Grand National, CART, Craftsman Trucks and Trans-Am.

Seven former overall winners of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be back looking to add one more win to their resume including five-time winner Hurley Haywood (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991), who holds the record for the most overall victories in the historic race. Other past overall winners currently slated to run include Mauro Baldi (1998, 2002), Derek Bell (1986, 1987, 1989), Max Papis (2002), Scott Sharp (1996), Didier Theys (1998, 2002) and Andy Wallace (1990, 1997, 1999).

The racing excitement will get underway at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, January 30 with practice sessions and first round qualifying for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona. Additional practice sessions, as well as second round qualifying, will be held on Friday, January 31, and the green flag will fall to start the historic race on Saturday, February 1 at 1 p.m.

Tickets for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. SPEED Channel will provide 16 hours of live coverage of the Rolex 24 on Saturday, Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 2, 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET.

Additional information about the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.

Rolex 24 at Daytona international drivers:

Australia - David Brabham
Austria - Manfred Juraz, Franz Konrad, Walter Lechner Jr., Dieter Quester
Belgium - Sascha Maassen, Didier Theys
Brazil - Airton Dare, Augusto Farfus
Canada - Ross Bentley, Chris Bye, David Empringham, Robert Julien, Dave Lacey, Scott Maxwell, David Shep, Kenny Wilden
France - Didier Moinel Delalande, Jerome Policand, Marco Saviozzi, David Terrien, Jean Francois Yvon
Germany - Timo Bernhard, Jorg Bergmeister, Ralf Kelleners, Marc Leib, Christian Reid, Gerold Reid
Great Britain - Rob Barff, Andy Britnell, John Burton, Emmanuel Collard, David Gooding, Tom Herridge, Justin Keen, Martin Konig, Johnny Mowlem, Mike Newton, Martin Short, Richard Stanton, Andy Wallace, Rob Wilson
Italy - Alex Caffi, Mauro Casadei, Andrea Chiesa, Filippo Francioni, Gianluca De Lorenzi, Michele Merendino, Bebo Orlandi, Piergiuseppe Peroni, Luca Riccitelli, Fabio Rosa, Gabrio Rosa, Mirco Savoldi
Monaco - Mauro Baldi, Andrea Garbagnati, Lucas Luhr, Michel Neugarten
Netherlands - Charles Brugman, Cor Euser, Rob Knook, Frans Munsterhuis Jr., Peter Van Der Kolk, Peter van Merksteijn
Russia - Nikolay Fomenko, Alexey Vasiliev
Switzerland - Robert Dubler, Tony Seiler

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